Going Green Saving Green 06.16.10


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Norma Rosowski, Sustainability Consultant with The Beck Group, presented on Going Green, Saving Green at the TEXO Women\'s Forum.

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Going Green Saving Green 06.16.10

  1. 1. going green saving green Sustainable Living Creates a Healthier World Norma Rosowski LEED AP BD&C The Beck Group Sustainability Consultant normarosowski@beckgroup.com Honest sustainability infuses responsibility into every aspect of our lives at work, at home, and at play 1
  2. 2. going green saving green Going Green will Save you Green Today we are going to focus on what you can do at home and how you can assist your company to be more eco-friendly and energy efficient everyday. If your company already has a green program you can get involved and assist them in improving it, if you don’t have a program in place, be the change-agent that promotes green awareness and start a grass roots effort. I am going to start by sharing with you how my company made changes to be more green. Saving money was the primary motivation from leadership, so all of the strategies we put in place not only benefited the environment but saved money at the same time. These are all things you can put in place either at home, at work, or both. I will also share some tangible things that you can do to start making a difference and save money at the same time. 2
  3. 3. going green saving green What Makes the Climate Change? Greenhouse gases Land use changes In the past few years, scientific research is confirming that the current warming of the Earth’s climate is very likely due to human activities, one of them is burning fossil fuels. This creates greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide N2O Disturbance of the land also causes climate change: deforestation, sprawl, miles and miles of heat trapping highways, and changes in agriculture are changing the global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas, and changing the energy balance on the earth’s surface, like rainfall patterns 3
  4. 4. going green saving green North Texas Population Growth + 4 million 9.1 million by 2030 Our population is continuing to grow. As of June 13, 2010 the world’s population is estimated to be 6.8 billion people. It is expected that between 2040 and 2050, the world’s population will be 9 billion. In the 10 counties in the Dallas-Ft Worth region alone it expected to grown in population by 4 million by 2030. This will bring increased usage of resources, carbon dioxide and pollution and should give us great concern as to whether we will have enough clean water, clean air, and resources to support it. 4
  5. 5. going green saving green Why Change? We are continuing to use the Earth’s resources faster than it can regenerate. And as the world’s population grows, we will increase consumption. We have to do something so that our future generations live in a world that is worth living in 5
  6. 6. going green saving green Case Study: Corporate Responsibility The Beck Group The way we design buildings and how we construct buildings has a huge impact on our environment. We started to be conscious about those things in terms of projects years ago and make some modifications, but we felt that we could improve the way we operate on a daily basis in the office, so we created a Work-Life committee to establish sustainability goals to further reduce our environmental impact of the daily activities in the office. The committee looked at operational procedures, policies, and activities, focusing on three major areas for improvement: 6
  7. 7. going green saving green Areas for Improvement: 1.Conservation of Office Consumables 2. Energy Use 3. Beck’s Carbon Footprint Conservation of office consumables, Energy use, and Beck’s carbon footprint 7
  8. 8. going green saving green Reduce buy less and use less Reuse use products and materials over and over again Recycle make products into new materials These are the three tenets of sustainable living and working. Conservation of office consumables starts with the 3Rs waste hierarchy. 8
  9. 9. going green saving green Kitchen Eliminated: 40,000 water bottles/yr Styrofoam cups Paper plates Added: Additional dishwasher Filtered water at every sink Saved: Reduced building waste $17,000 cost savings/yr We eliminated Beck water bottles, waste with our name on it. Many times they did not get recycled, and they are petroleum-based and don’t break down easily in landfill. We replaced them with reusable drink ware that have a long lifecycle and low embodied energy We also eliminated Styrofoam cups, Styrofoam can take thousands of years to decompose 9
  10. 10. going green saving green Paper Used: 2 million sheets letter sized paper/yr 500,000 tabloid-sized paper/yr = 322 trees & $61,000/yr Changes: Paperless processes Double-sided printing defaults Paper supply to FSC or recycled Savings: $32,000/yr These paper facts don’t even account for other offices, job site offices or plotting services we use on a daily basis. With these initiatives, we reduced paper usage, paper costs, raw material use, paper waste, impact on forest resources which amounted to a cost savings per year of $32,000 FSC = Forest Stewardship Council, harvesting and production of the forests/manufacturing process responsibly managed We only print when necessary, storing documents electronically rather than paper files, previewing before printing eliminating mistakes and the need to reprint, and printing double sided 10
  11. 11. going green saving green Building Services Greener cleaning practices Recycling in every room, at every desk Traditional cleaning products contain chemicals that harm the environment and create an unhealthy indoor air quality that could be damaging to building occupants. Toxic chemicals in cleaning products have been linked to health problems such as asthma, allergies, breast cancer, reproductive problems, and learning and behavioral problems in children. Source: The Chemical Sensitivity Foundation. Our building maintenance/cleaning service offers recycling for no additional cost. No sorting is required. 11
  12. 12. going green saving green Commute 600 Beck employees = 4 M pounds of CO2 240,000 gallons of gasoline Average commute 25.3 minutes/day 2 trips per day with 600 employees = 506 hrs/car per day Carpool, biking, walking, DART Our initial plan was to create a page on our portal devoted to alternative transportation, listing resources and information including a ride-share map to encourage ride sharing and alternative forms of transportation. We included in our proposal adding a shower to our office so those who ride or walk can shower after their commute. We also proposed providing a small office fleet for employees so they could get to and from project meetings if they commute via alternative transportation means. What we ended up providing is vouchers for those who chose DART and a gym membership at the YMCA across the street to those who choose to bike to work so that they could access a shower. We are currently working on the ride share program. When the economy gets stronger, we will look at a small fleet that is available for check out by employees who ride public transportation or walk so that they can attend meetings out of the office. 12
  13. 13. going green saving green Work-Life Balance Flexible hours Work from home Dallas commuters spend 33-35% of their commute in delayed traffic Working from home is not for everyone, or for every job, but a significant number of employees have tasks that don’t require their presence in the office. If they don’t drive to work, they don’t use gas or emit carbon dioxide. If they do have to come to the office, they are met with traffic, by extending flexible work hours they can reduce their commute times and carbon impact. 13
  14. 14. going green saving green Reduce Energy Consumption Computers hibernate Reconfigure HVAC Replace incandescent with fluorescent Occupancy Sensors Computers and other technology resources use a significant amount of energy in our offices. Much of the power usage by these devices isn’t happening during normal working hours. There are simple ways we can reduce the energy usage of our computers and other equipment when they are not being used. We now configure computers to hibernate after 10 minutes of inactivity. Hibernation saves the current windows session to disk and allows the computer to enter a very low power state. Office spaces are typically over-conditioned and poorly balanced. Employees have complained about feeling too hot or too cold. We recommended implementing a minor HVAC reconfiguration by testing and balancing the system, replacing slot diffusers for central air distribution, and replacing our monitoring and control system to make the office more efficient and comfortable. To date, we have completed the test and balance. We also replaced all incandescent lights with fluorescent. We recommended additional occupancy sensors be located in conference rooms. 14
  15. 15. going green saving green Purchase Renewable Energy Direct & efficient way to reduce environmental footprint Despite our reductions in energy use, we will still continue to use significant amounts of energy in daily business. This energy is typically provided by fossil fuels, but now energy from renewable sources are available on the national energy grid, Locally, you can purchase energy from renewable sources, either from TXU or Green Mountain Energy. Currently renewable energy accounts for less than 5% of the total energy on the grid. By requesting renewable energy from your energy provider, the energy provider has a direct impact on the mix of clean energy going into the grid. There may be a slight premium for renewable energy, but the premium goes toward developing new renewable sources that decrease the role of fossil fuels in our country. If you can’t purchase renewable energy directly from your provider, you can off-set your fossil fuel energy use by purchasing RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) They brokered by a third party company and offset the fossil fuel consumption with Renewable credits that supplement the development of renewable energy sources. 15
  16. 16. going green saving green Marketing Internal & External Differentiate yourself from Your competitors Monthly newsletter Sustainability web portal Short videos Sustainability Consulting group Corporate sustainability has benefits on it’s own, but policies need people to implement them Internal marketing includes articles in our monthly newsletter as well as a page on our internal portal to help employees share resources on how to incorporate sustainability in their work and their life. External marketing Part of capturing the value of a change is to brand it into your corporate identity. We now have sustainability consulting services, which I am a part of, we also are moving toward sharing our good deeds to clients, partners, and employees by publishing materials focused on our sustainability efforts. These could include mailers to clients, speaking engagements, with papers, and publications in magazines. Almost every RFQ or RFP involves some level of sustainability. 16
  17. 17. going green saving green Future Initiatives Fleet Vehicles increase mpg average to reduce carbon footprint (RECs area also available for vehicles) Project Sites Green construction trailers We can continue to make improvements in the office, but we have some work to do as it relates to job sites too. Beck has a lot of company pick up trucks, as they are replaced, if we choose trucks with higher mpg we can reduce our carbon footprint, not removing all of it entirely, but making an impact. We are currently working with job trailer manufacturers to improve the performance of our construction trailers. We plan to take it to the next level and create a design competition among architecture and construction management schools (especially those we recruit to) to work together (integrated) to design a green construction trailer that is highly efficient and has an overall low environmental impact 17
  18. 18. going green saving green What is your impact on the World? www.footprintnetwork.org How many planets does it take to support your lifestyle? FOOD-meat & dairy products, packaged, local HOME- waste, house type, size, how many live there MOBILITY – how far you travel by car, bus, plane, My carbon footprint analysis said that if everyone lived like me, it would take 4.3 planet earth’s to provide enough resources, and to support my lifestyle, it takes 19.1 global acres of the Earth’s productive area (17.9 tons CO2) 18
  19. 19. going green saving green What can you do? What can you do to save money and the environment at home and at work? There are many ways you can replace everyday items and habits with eco-friendly ones 19
  20. 20. going green saving green 3 Basic Rules: Use less If you use, use wisely When you are done using recycle or use again What can you do to save money and the environment at home and at work? There are many ways you can replace everyday items and habits with eco-friendly ones 20
  21. 21. going green saving green Reduce Waste Lunch Reducing lunch waste can significantly impact the environment and your wallet. At home, pack a lunch using reusable lunch bags and put your food in containers rather than plastic bags. At work, encourage vendors that bring you lunch to reduce waste by bringing trays of food rather than a box lunch. Box lunches create food waste because many times it contains food you don’t like, or it’s more than you can eat. Any food left over is most likely thrown away simply because no one else will take a half-eaten box lunch. A tray or dish of food allows you to take what you like and how much you can eat, therefore eliminating food waste. They also create material waste. The box is useless after it serves its purpose to transport and contain your lunch and is rarely recycled. Roughly 1,000 standard size lunch boxes can be created with a ton of cardboard. It takes 80 gal of oil, 17 trees, and 7,000 gal of water to create them! That’s the amount of water that an average person drinks in 28 years! Each food item inside the box is also individually wrapped adding to the waste stream. None of this packaging can be recycled because it generally has food on it. 21
  22. 22. going green saving green Reduce Waste Excessive Packaging We just discussed how things are over-packaged. Think about how you can buy things that have less packaging. When selecting fresh fruit and vegetables, don’t put them in those plastic bags, but bring cloth ones to the store or farmers market. Buy food in bulk if you can, so at least you are reducing the amount of packaging per unit of food. About 1/3 of what an average American throws out is packaging. 22
  23. 23. going green saving green Reduce Waste One-time use items Clean the kitchen and other household chores with cloth dishrags instead of paper towels. Once paper towels are used, they cannot be recycled and must go to a landfill. Paper towel manufacturing involves chlorine, a toxic chemical that releases carcinogenic dioxins and furans. Source: grist.org. If every family in the US replaced one 70-sheet roll of paper towel with a reusable alternative, it could save 544,000 trees. Source: NRDC. 51,000 trees per day are needed to replace paper towels that are disposed of each day. Source: EPA If you must use paper towels, choose brands that are made from recycled content. Also, use cloth napkins instead of paper ones 23
  24. 24. going green saving green Get Out of Your Single Occupant Vehicle Bike Walk Bus Train Carpool www.walkscore.com If you can walk one time a month to the grocery or another errand, you can begin to save emissions and money. Cars and pick up trucks are responsible for about 20% of the carbon dioxide released in the air. Every gallon of gasoline you save avoids 22 pounds of CO2 emissions When you buy your next car, choose one that gets good mileage. If your new car gets 40 mpg instead of 24, and you drive 10,000 miles per year, you will reduce your annual CO2 emissions by 3,300 pounds National Walk to Work day. You are encouraged to walk for all or part of your commute to work on the first Friday of April. Aim for a minimum 15 minute walk each way. If you take public transportation, try walking to a further stop before boarding, or getting off a stop early and walking the rest of the distance to work. If your commute is too long, make it a Walk to Lunch Day. Invite your co-workers to join with you for Walk to Work Day, or join you in a Walk to Lunch. Check out how walkable your home or office is. Log on to walkscore and see what your rating is. 24
  25. 25. going green saving green Start a Garden Grow Farmer’s Market Compost http://planobluestem.blogspot.com/ http://grwhryrpltd.wordpress.com/ www.farmersmarket.com Urban gardens are all the rage now. Start small by using planters to grow vegetables like tomatoes or herbs. More adventurous gardeners can take a portion of their lawn and plant. Be sure to pick areas that are partially shaded to cut down on hot, direct sun, use mulch (newspaper, lawn clippings, etc) to hold moisture in so less watering is needed. Start a compost pile and add the rich nutrients to your garden. If you can’t start a garden, buy produce at the local farmers market. It supports the local economy. Fresh picked vegetables and fruit that come from your region are so much better than the ones you buy at the store that may have been picked before they were ripe so that they could be transported for miles and have a longer shelf life at the store. 25
  26. 26. going green saving green Change your Light Bulb LED CFL save 150 pounds of CO2 a year per bulb The government will stop production of incandescent bulbs on or before Jan 2014, Rely on natural sunlight when possible, turn lights off if they are not needed! At work, when you are not using a conference room, turn the lights off. Fluorescents are more expensive up front but saves a lot of money in the long run – lasts 10 times longer The electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs 5-10 x more than fluorescent About 90% of the energy used in lighting a standard incandescent bulb is lost as heat. 26
  27. 27. going green saving green Stop Junk Mail 41 pounds sent to every adult each year 44% of this mail goes into landfill unopened www.donotmail.org www.41pounds.org More than 100 million trees are destroyed each year to produce junk mail Creating & shipping junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 9 million cars About 28 billion gallons of water are wasted to produce and recycle junk each year You waste about 70 hours a year dealing with junk mail On average, we receive 16 pieces of junk mail a week, compared to only 1.5 personal letters Eliminate junk mail by contacting companies that send you junk mail and ask them to stop If you get duplicate magazines, stop that too By reducing your junk mail for 5 years, you’ll conserve 1.7 trees and 700 gallons of water, prevent global warming emissions, and you’ll gain about 350 hours of free time! Other ways to reduce paper consumption is to read magazines and newspapers online. Don’t’ take flyers they stuff in your bag at stores 27
  28. 28. going green saving green Say “NO” to Paper don’t print checks electronic bills pay online direct deposit take less receipts The average office worker uses 1.5 pounds of paper per day. Try going paperless. A lot of toxic waste is produced making paper pulp and 674 gal fuel/year. Wasteful, life-cycle of paying by check: Write the check, put it in an envelope which is also paper, put a (paper) stamp on it, put it in the mail, it’s routed all over the U.S. by truck and eventually gets sent to a landfill 28
  29. 29. going green saving green Buy Smart Appliances Energy Star uses 20-40% less energy and water than other models www.energystar.gov Department of Energy and the EPA partnership Energy Star means that it is significantly more energy efficient than minimum government standards They can save you money by using less electricity and water than other appliances Energy Star appliances may cost more up front but it can be made up with savings on your utility bill Washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, room air conditioners 29
  30. 30. going green saving green Be Smart About Heating & Cooling Winter 68˚ daytime, 55˚ night Summer 78˚ Clean or replace air filters often Use fans to circulate air Lowering your thermostat just 2 degrees during winter saves 6% of heating related CO2 emissions Cleaning dirty air conditioner filter can save 5% of the energy used which could equate to 175 pounds of CO2 year Use fans, the blowing air from fans can make it feel 5 degrees cooler, and they use a lot less energy than air conditioners If you have a fireplace, close the damper when not using. An open fireplace damper can let 8% of heat from your furnace escape through the chimney and in the summer it can let cool air escape, it’s like having a window open. 30
  31. 31. going green saving green Eliminate Standby Power Computers Printers Fax machines CD players DVD players A surprisingly large number of electrical products, TVs, printers, DVD players can not be switched off completely without being unplugged. Individually, they don’t draw that much power, but the average American home has 40 products constantly drawing power, together, these can amount to almost 10% of residential electricity use Standby power in commercial buildings can be significant as well Altogether, standby power use is roughly responsible for 1% of global CO2 emissions To reduce standby power at home, use a power strip for clusters of computer and video devices, this way you can switch everything to 0 with one action. You can buy programmable power strips too. Some appliance functions require a small amount of electricity like signals for telephones, internet, alarm clocks, battery charging. 31
  32. 32. going green saving green Take Eco-Friendly Vacations Don’t travel as far Find a green hotel Take the train Minimize waste Rent a hybrid car www.greenhotels.com http://www.environmentallyfriendlyhotels.com/ So everyone is ready to take a summer vacation… one of the simplest pieces of advice most people won’t take even with $4 gal/gasoline, stay close to home, or even stay home. You’ve all heard of “stay-cations” We live in a major city with a lot of stuff to do. Museums, amusement parks, sporting events, theater, etc. If you must travel, stay within 150 miles from home. Your wallet and your planet will thank you. There is a registry of environmentally friendly hotels standing by ready to assist you in you eco-scape, conserving waste, and committed to reducing their toll on the planet. Rail travel features some of the lowest carbon emissions per traveler of any form of transportation. In order of most polluting, it goes: airplanes, cars, trains & coach buses,. This may sound like a give-me, but it’s not, Turn off your thermostat when your not a home, take pets to the sitter rather than leave them at home and have a neighbor stop by to check on them. Pack a couple of reusable water bottles so you don’t have to buy plastic water bottles everywhere you go. Common sense still applies on vacation. 32
  33. 33. going green saving green Do Things Manually Manual can opener Reel lawn mower Hang clothes Rake leaves Sweep sidewalks & patios Use paint brush Take the stairs 33
  34. 34. going green saving green Switch to Green Energy TXU Green Mountain Carbon Offsets www.begreennow.com One of the easiest ways to make a difference is to switch to green energy. Many times your regular energy provider offers a portion of the energy the provide from renewable sources such as wind and solar. In our area, TXU provides a percentage of green power and with Green Mountain you can purchase 100% green power. If you can’t buy green power, you can offset by purchasing carbon offsets and renewable energy credits. This helps invest in cleaner technologies that help neutralize your contribution to global warming 34
  35. 35. going green saving green Recycle Everything www.earth911.org www.freecycle.org www.clothingswap.com Americans represent 5% of world’s population but generate 40% of its waste Recycling ½ household waste will save 2,400 pounds of CO2 per year Recycle everything you possibly can. The average American generates 4 pounds of solid trash per day, 1,460 pounds per year Less than ¼ of what we dispose of is recycled, sending all of it to the landfill. Think about everything you throw away and be creative about discarding it Even fireplace ashes can be recycled, they are valuable soil amendments to nourish that garden in the spring Decompose rates of common items from ways2gogreen.com: Apple core – 1 to 2 months Glass bottles – tens of thousands of years (glass is made from sand and it can outlast most anything) Cardboard milk carton – 5 years Plastic milk carton – 500 years Cigarette butt – 1 to 5 years Aluminum Can – 80 to 200 years Newspaper – 2 to 4 weeks Diapers – 500 years Styrofoam – thousands of years (some say it never decomposes) Soup can – 80 to 100 years Rubber sole – 50 to 80 years 35
  36. 36. going green saving green Get Smart About Batteries www.electronicsrecycling.net Buy hand operated items that function without batteries Look for batteries that have less mercury & heavy metals Consider rechargeable batteries (beware, they also contain heavy metals) Recycle all batteries at the end of their usefulness 1.5 Billion pounds of electronics per year are put in the landfill Household batteries contribute many potentially hazardous compounds to the waste stream including zinc, lead, nickel, alkaline, manganese, cadmium, silver, and mercury. 36
  37. 37. going green saving green Get Smart About Cell Phones www.electronicsrecycling.net www.hobi.com Average life 2 years 140 million new sold each year Contain toxic metals Donate, Exchange, Recycle Recycle everything you possibly can. Cell phones account for nearly 65,000 tons of toxic waste each year More than 500 million unwanted cell phones are either sitting at home waiting to be thrown away or are already seeping mercury, lead, and other toxic contaminants into the environment. National cell phone carriers have instituted a phone recycling take-back plan and can be used to provide 911-capabilities to victims of domestic violence, senior centers, seniors living alone, with disabilities, etc Radio Shack, Best Buy, Office Depot and Staples offer cell phone recycling centers in their stores Or send them to a recycling center to keep harmful chemicals out of ground water and soils. 37
  38. 38. going green saving green Don’t Use Plastic Bags Plastic bags take 500 years to decompose in landfill Take reusable cloth Bags with you Use a re-usable cloth bag There is an ongoing debate about whether paper or plastic bags should be used They both require a lot of energy to produce and recycle Only about 700 paper bags can be made from one 15 year old tree A large grocery store can use that many bags before lunch Plastic bags start out as either oil or natural gas (non-renewable resources) Newer plastic bags can photo-degrade but most aren’t exposed to light once they are buried in a landfill 38
  39. 39. going green saving green Change Your Water Habits 80% water used in the summer is for landscape irrigation The craziest thing we do with water is to put clean, drinking water on our lawns, worse yet, we water the sidewalks too. If you can, let the lawn go dormant for the summer and not water at all, if you can’t do that, replace sprinkler heads with new oscillating sprinkler heads that use less water. Your lawn only needs ½” of water a week. Broken sprinkler heads can be a real problem. A geyser can waste up to 40 gallons of water a minute Also, use a broom instead of a hose to clean off the driveway or patio this will save hundreds of gallons of water each year. 39
  40. 40. going green saving green Don’t Buy Water Bottles Bottled water costs $10 gallon Tap water costs < 10¢ gallon $43 billion year spent for quality water Only 10% plastic bottles are recycled Millions spent annual to clean up www.sfenvironment.org www.sfwater.org Fast Company reported that more money is spent on purchasing plastic water bottles each year than spent on ipods & movie tickets, and they usually end up in the landfill. Manufacturing involves (petroleum and chemicals) energy intensive plastic sheets, molding device, cooling, packaging, shipping, transporting It takes 500 + years decompose in landfill, they are made up of PET which is made from petroleum and doesn’t break down easily. The Federal standards for tap water are higher than those for bottled water, so most likely your tap water is cleaner than the bottled water you buy San Francisco and Los Angeles have banned city depts. from buying bottled water and Ann Arbor Michigan has mandated city events to be bottled water free. Salt Lake City urges city workers not to buy bottled water. Maine, Hawaii, California, Oregon have deposit laws that include bottled water. This encourages recycling and reduces liter along highways, lakes, rivers and in parks. Take the pledge to not buy bottled water for a year and get your name in a drawing to win a free stainless steel water bottle 40
  41. 41. going green saving green Impact Your Community Form or join a local citizen’s group Be vocal with local government officials Check out environmental voting records of candidates for office www.greendrinks.org www.greensingles.com Work with your employer to implement some of the things you heard today. Start making connections with people who care about the environment by joining an organization that is making a difference in your community, or better yet, start one! Call or write your elected officials and express your concern about energy efficiency and global warming 41
  42. 42. going green saving green Basics of LEED Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design LEED is a tool to measure how green a building or neighborhood development is. 42
  43. 43. going green saving green New Construction Existing Buildings Core & Shell Commercial Interiors Neighborhood Development LEED Rating Systems Healthcare, Retail are in pilot 43
  44. 44. going green saving green LEED Levels of Certification 44
  45. 45. going green saving green Sustainable Water Energy & Materials & Indoor Innovation Sites Efficiency Atmosphere Resources Environmental & Design Quality and Regional Priority LEED Credit Categories 45
  46. 46. going green saving green Man shapes himself through decisions that shape his environment. Rene Dubois We all have buying power, we can choose products and activities that are kinder to the environment and will influence the supply chain to make more sustainable products. Do something and then tell a friend about the way you have saved money making a small shift in habit. 46
  47. 47. going green saving green questions? 47